Despite massive increase in Education Dept. budget, math and reading scores fall

In 2008, the budget for the Department of Education stood at $56 billion. The most recent budget shows a $21 billion increase, to $77 billion.

Just what have we gotten for that massive increase?

Associated Press:

Results from national math and reading tests show slipping or stagnant scores for the nation's schoolkids.

Math scores were down for fourth and eighth graders over the last two years. And reading grades were not much better: flat for fourth graders and lower for eighth graders, according to 2015 results released Wednesday for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam.

The falling mathematics scores for fourth and eighth graders mark the first declines in math since 1990.

The results suggest students have a ways to go to demonstrate a solid grasp or mastery in reading and math.

Only about a third of the nation's eighth-graders were at proficient or above in math and reading. Among fourth graders, the results were slightly better in reading and in math, about two in five scored proficient or above.

The report also found a continuing achievement gap between white and black students.

There were a few bright spots: the District of Columbia and Mississippi both saw substantial reading and math gains.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged parents, teachers, and others not to panic about the scores as states embrace higher academic standards, such as Common Core.

"We should expect scores in this period to bounce around some, and I think that 'implementation dip' is part of what we're seeing here," Duncan said in a phone call with reporters. "I would caution everyone to be careful about drawing conclusions."

In Detroit, those scores aren't bouncing around, Arne. They are cratering:

In the Detroit public school district, 96 percent of eighth graders are not proficient in mathematics and 93 percent are not proficient in reading.

That is according to the results of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress tests published by the Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics.

Only 4 percent of Detroit public school eighth graders are proficient or better in math and only 7 percent in reading. This is despite the fact that in the 2011-2012 school year—the latest for which the Department of Education has reported the financial data—the Detroit public schools had “total expenditures” of $18,361 per student and “current expenditures” of $13,330 per student.

According to data published by the Detroit Public Schools, the school district’s operating expenses in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2014 amounted to approximately $14,743 per student.

Should taxpayers expect results when they pour billions in additional funding into a federal program or department? Liberals will argue that after all, government isn't a business - thank God - and metrics for measuring success or failure are different.

Hogswoggle. The entire reason for standardized tests is to measure progress in the nation's schools. If it's not going to matter whether students are improving or failing, why bother with the tests?

Perhaps schools should spend a little less time teaching kids about diversity, tolerance, and how to have homosexual sex and place a little more emphasis on reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

In 2008, the budget for the Department of Education stood at $56 billion. The most recent budget shows a $21 billion increase, to $77 billion.

Just what have we gotten for that massive increase?

Associated Press:

Results from national math and reading tests show slipping or stagnant scores for the nation's schoolkids.

Math scores were down for fourth and eighth graders over the last two years. And reading grades were not much better: flat for fourth graders and lower for eighth graders, according to 2015 results released Wednesday for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam.

The falling mathematics scores for fourth and eighth graders mark the first declines in math since 1990.

The results suggest students have a ways to go to demonstrate a solid grasp or mastery in reading and math.

Only about a third of the nation's eighth-graders were at proficient or above in math and reading. Among fourth graders, the results were slightly better in reading and in math, about two in five scored proficient or above.

The report also found a continuing achievement gap between white and black students.

There were a few bright spots: the District of Columbia and Mississippi both saw substantial reading and math gains.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged parents, teachers, and others not to panic about the scores as states embrace higher academic standards, such as Common Core.

"We should expect scores in this period to bounce around some, and I think that 'implementation dip' is part of what we're seeing here," Duncan said in a phone call with reporters. "I would caution everyone to be careful about drawing conclusions."

In Detroit, those scores aren't bouncing around, Arne. They are cratering:

In the Detroit public school district, 96 percent of eighth graders are not proficient in mathematics and 93 percent are not proficient in reading.

That is according to the results of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress tests published by the Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics.

Only 4 percent of Detroit public school eighth graders are proficient or better in math and only 7 percent in reading. This is despite the fact that in the 2011-2012 school year—the latest for which the Department of Education has reported the financial data—the Detroit public schools had “total expenditures” of $18,361 per student and “current expenditures” of $13,330 per student.

According to data published by the Detroit Public Schools, the school district’s operating expenses in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2014 amounted to approximately $14,743 per student.

Should taxpayers expect results when they pour billions in additional funding into a federal program or department? Liberals will argue that after all, government isn't a business - thank God - and metrics for measuring success or failure are different.

Hogswoggle. The entire reason for standardized tests is to measure progress in the nation's schools. If it's not going to matter whether students are improving or failing, why bother with the tests?

Perhaps schools should spend a little less time teaching kids about diversity, tolerance, and how to have homosexual sex and place a little more emphasis on reading, writing, and arithmetic.